Latin America has the highest regional participation in IFC's Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP) worldwide in terms of the number of banks, countries and trade volume, IFC head of short term finance in Latin America and the Caribbean Antonio Alves told BNamericas.
In all, 61 banks in 20 countries throughout Latin America are GTFP partners, accounting for 37% of the program's global trade volume.
Alves said that the high trade volume could be explained by the increase in Asian banks in the region which saw opportunities to explore a new market, but because "they don't know the market, they need someone to help them mitigate that risk, and that someone is IFC."
He also stated that economic development in China had increased GTFP trade in the region, saying that "China is the biggest buyer from Latin America, especially from the commodities industry, so that has also driven the volume up."
Alves further said that Latin America accounted for such a high proportion of GTFP trade volume because it is "a more sophisticated market, so the bankers are more comfortable and are used to doing more sophisticated financial transactions."
The GTFP is a worldwide program which guarantees trade-related payment obligations of approved financial institutions, aiming to promote open and competitive markets in developing countries, reduce poverty, generate productive jobs and support private sector partners.
IFC is the private sector arm of the World Bank.